England is famed for its rain. I'll never forget the first comment almost everyone made when I lived in Austria on hearing that I was english; "oh! It always rains in England, doesn't it?"... "NO!" I would reply indignantly!
However, it has to be admitted that today would not be one of the days I would use as evidenciary support of my theory regarding english weather. It has rained ALL DAY! No exaggeration (well... maybe a slight one!).
The other day it was raining in a similar way, and I began the descent into the moan about the weather. Dave gently but firmly rebuked me that actually I should be grateful to God for his provision of downpour.
In the Old Testament, rain was often a symbol of God's blessing (with the obvious exception of the flood) God judged his people by drought, and the return of the rains were literally God pouring out his lavish mercy and forgiveness...
13"And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil. 15 And he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full. 16Take care lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them; 17then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and he will shut up the heavens, so that there will be no rain, and the land will yield no fruit, and you will perish quickly off the good land that the LORD is giving you.
Of course, God's lavish mercy and forgiveness is shown ultimately in Christs atoning death; but the rains are a reminder of God's common grace - his daily provision for our needs. So I'm going to take the opportunity to thank God today for this rain - it provides food, keeps our gardens looking beautiful and most of all, it reminds me of God's blessing as he literally pours out provision for us. Lets thank God for the pouring rain!